The Welcome


The Lord be with you
All        And also with you


We say together

Loving Lord

fill us with your life-giving,

joy-giving, peace-giving presence;

that we may praise you with our lips

and all the day long with our lives,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘In Christ alone my hope is found’

By Stuart Townend & Keith Getty


Prayer of confession from Psalm 25

            I offer you my heart, O Lord:

            Show me your paths
All        and teach me to follow;

guide me by your truth
All        and instruct me.

You keep me safe,
All        and I always trust you.


We say together

All        Please, Lord, remember,
you have always been patient and kind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forget each wrong I have done.
Show how truly kind you are
and remember me.
You are honest and merciful,
and you teach sinners how to follow your path.





1st Reading Romans 9: 1 – 5     

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.


This is the word of the Lord

All   Thanks be to God


We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘I am the bread of life’

By Suzanne Toolan


Alleluia, alleluia

We do not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

All        Alleluia


Gospel Reading   Matthew 14: 13 – 21

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.


This is the Gospel of the Lord

All        Praise to you, O Christ


Some thoughts to share



Dear Father God, we welcome you this day.

You promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.


We pray for the witness of the Church, especially in places where the Christian faith is ignored, forgotten or repressed.

Strengthen all your clergy and all your Church in the service of Christ.

We pray for Toby and his family as he encourages and supports us.

We pray for Sarah, Linda, Elaine, Les, Robert and Sue and their families as they help Toby and our church communities during this time of uncertainty.

Let all those who confess your name be united in your truth, live together in your love and reveal your glory in the world.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We pray for those searching each day for food or walking long distances for clean water.

We pray for those who have fled their homes in fear and for those whose lives are cut short by persecution, torture or terrorism.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We pray for our community and those who lead it.

Help us to make it a place where everyone can flourish.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen.

Give wisdom to all in authority.

Direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and peace.

Do all this so that we may honour one another and seek the common good.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We pray for those whom we love.

We thank you for those people who sustain us by their love and forgiveness.

Make us alert to each other’s needs and quick to serve and encourage one another.

May our gentleness with each other reflect your gentleness with us.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We pray for the sick and for the departed.

We pray especially for all those affected directly or indirectly by COVID-19.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.

Give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation.

We remember those who have died in the faith of Christ.

According to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the loving example of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, who was obedient even to death.

He died that we might live.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and all Christian people to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen


We declare our faith

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried. 

On the third day he rose again;
he ascended to heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge
the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. 



We pray

The Collect

Lord of heaven and earth,

as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,

give us patience and courage never to lose hope,

but always to bring our prayers before you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All        Amen.

We say together

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory
are yours, now and for ever.  Amen.


We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘How deep the Fathers love for us’

By Stuart Townend


Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we live in a world where we are so overcome with our problems, we sometimes forget that our neighbour maybe suffering too. Lord as we leave this place today, fill us with compassion for our fellow man. Help us to see them as you do, give us a heart to love them and see them through their trials, let us be the light that they see so that you shine through.










Due to the increase in demand for food, Clayton Baptist Church are running short of food supplies, i.e. tins of soup, breakfast cereals, eggs, tins of fruit, tins of meat, tins of veg, pasta sauce, tea / coffee etc. Also fruit and vegetables. Please can you help by donating items to Clayton Baptist Church. Alternatively if you bring your items to church on Sunday we will make sure that they get to the food bank.

Thank you.

1st August 2020

Dear friends

How are you keeping?  This phase of the pandemic is beset by uncertainties.  We continue to pray for our leaders and for society as a whole as difficult balancing acts are undertaken to allow social and economic activity to resume, whilst not allowing the virus to spread rampantly again.  Indeed, as I’ve been drafting this letter the rules have changed again for our area, to prevent meeting with others in homes and gardens.  Individuals also face difficult decisions, especially as official shielding is ‘paused’.  At the same time many are feeling the effects of the massive economic slowdown, with the consequences for people’s jobs.  All this means that this period can be emotionally draining and challenging.  Let’s continue to look out for each other and be sensitive to the variety of ways in which we are personally experiencing all this.

For four Sundays now, our churches have been open once again for public worship.  Throughout August services in church will continue to take place just once a week in each parish – at the usual times of 9:30am at St James’ and 11am at All Saints’.  The second Sunday – 9th August – will again be family-friendly.  Adult numbers have been in the high teens at Altham and the low thirties at All Saints – and each week there has been a number of children present.  I have been pleased to see how well it has been possible to conduct worship safely and how people have followed the instructions.  Some things are quite strange – such as giving the communion bread without saying anything and not sharing the consecrated wine together.  Many valued things are missing, including refreshments afterwards as well as hymn-singing.  But gradually a temporary normal is becoming established – now also including face coverings in churches as well as in shops.  Please note that from 8th August face coverings will be a legal requirement in church (apart from those with an exemption).

I don’t really like the phrase ‘new normal’ for these kind of things, because it is right to remember that they are exceptional and we pray for the day when they can be lifted.  ‘New normal’ is, I think, a better phrase for those things which will emerge as long-term changes.  Ones we pray will be for the good.  Greater concern for each other, proper provision for the care system, more families out walking together, better provision for cycling…and, dare we hope, a greater awareness of the preciousness of life and our dependence on God.

Those in church are very conscious of those who aren’t with us physically, but are in spirit (and in the Holy Spirit).  Don’t forget that anyone with an internet connection can view the 11am service from All Saints – either live or later on.  You don’t need to have a Facebook account.  Just go to  The daily online services will, however, pause over the next two weeks, during my holiday time, but will then resume.  I love the fact that people are joining together to join in the prayer of the church via this means and we will have to find a way of this being an ongoing part of the new normal.

Back in lockdown VE Day stood out as a day of glorious sunshine and of togetherness.  It came just as we edged out of the peak of deaths.  And it helped us remember that we have been through massive challenges before and that we will get through this one, too.  It is sobering that around 61,000 lost their lives in this country to German bombing throughout the war, and that excess deaths this year so far are running at 53,148 (51,264 of them with COVID-19 on the death certificate as either the main or a contributory cause of death)[1].  On 15th August the nation will mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War on VJ Day.  Do listen out at 11am as the church bell/s will ring out from both our churches in commemoration.  Unlike in 1945, we are far from the end of our encounter with covid-19, but we must pray that we have the courage to build a better future as our parents and grandparents did emerging from the war.

A little word about money.  Both PCCs are very grateful to those who have continued to support our churches financially during this time.  Obviously, church income has dropped considerably with no collections in church and no weddings or funerals having taken place either.  If you’ve not been able to give during these months you might like to make a catch-up, via cheque or bank transfer.  Just ask if you could do with the bank details.  For those from All Saints’ who give via weekly envelopes, as and when you come back to church you will find your box of envelopes waiting for you.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to move to giving by standing order – again just ask.  Standing order allows you to work out what is the right amount for you to give and to give that bank regardless of whether or not you’re in church or have the right amount of money in your wallet.  And you are entirely in control – you can change the amount or stop the order entirely whenever you wish.

Also, a word on buildings.  You may remember all the water damage at All Saints’ early in the year.  Well, the new boiler was installed just before the lockdown, and plans are in place and permission granted for gale breaker material to be fitted in the tall lancet openings to the tower, so that driving winds don’t blow lots of rain into the tower.  Fencing is going up along the boundary between school and church, and the shade of green chosen means that it shouldn’t be too obtrusive, whilst deterring those who have been breaking-in recently, and anyone else seeking to gain unauthorised access.  At Altham the south aisle roof is being refurbished (following work on the nave and the chancel in previous summers) and some stunningly effective and efficient LED lighting has been installed.  At Altham School a beautiful new modular unit has been opened to house reception.

I hope that the remaining part of summer will give everyone some opportunities to recharge their batteries.  Not everyone will be able to get away on holiday, but if you can find opportunities that are safe for you do try to get a little bit of a change and some refreshment before autumn and winter, with the extra challenges that will bring.

Those of you who have been attending or following the Sunday services online will know that I’ve been focusing on the readings from Romans over these last weeks.  I hope they’ve


given us all plenty to think about, and to affirm us in our faith.  This Sunday’s reading reminds us that the bible is honest and realistic about the condition of the world and the suffering and death that occurs.  At times there is nothing to do but to groan with a groaning creation, as we lament lives cut short, livelihoods lost, life disrupted in all sorts of ways.  We are called to our knees and to the cry Lord, have mercy.  From that position of grieving with those who grieve we are called to practical action to help others, action which points to the love and justice of God’s kingdom.  And we are called to live as people of hope, who have the conviction that the future ultimately lies in God’s hands, that he is a good, good God, and that one day the present labour pains will give way to the full life, joy and peace of his new creation.

Yours in faith, hope and love, Revd Toby





An Order for Night Prayer (Compline)

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. 



The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

All  Amen.

Our help is in the name of the Lord

All  who made heaven and earth.


A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used


All    Most merciful God, we confess to you,

before the whole company of heaven and one another,

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed

and in what we have failed to do.

Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit

and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.


O God, make speed to save us.

All    O Lord, make haste to help us.

All    Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever.




The following or another suitable hymn may be said or sung


Before the ending of the day,

Creator of the world, we pray

That you, with steadfast love, would keep

Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,

From fears and terrors of the night;

Tread underfoot our deadly foe

That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done

Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;

And Holy Spirit, by whose breath

Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Word of God

One or more of Psalms 4, 91 and 134 may be used daily.
Or Sundays Psalm 104:1, 21-33, Monday Psalm 86, Tuesday Psalm 143, Wednesday Psalm 31:1-5, 19-end, Thursday Psalm 16, Friday Psalm 139:1-18, Saturday Psalm 91

Scripture Reading

One of the following short lessons or another suitable passage

Sunday: You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God.  (Jeremiah 14.9)


Monday: Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)


Tuesday: Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)


Wednesday: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:6,7)


Thursday: Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith. (1 Peter 5.8, 9)


Friday: God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. (1 Thess 5:9,10)


Saturday: A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his.  Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.  (Hebrews 4:9-11a)


The following responsory may be said

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.

All  I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

All  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


Keep me as the apple of your eye.

All  Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle: The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)


All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.


1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  ♦

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  ♦

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  ♦

and the glory of your people Israel.

All  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

All  Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping,

that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

Time for your own prayers of thanksgiving and intercession


Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Our Father, who art in heaven

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;

All  for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us, Lord Jesus,

All  for the night is at hand and the day is now past.

As the night watch looks for the morning,

All  so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;

the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;

the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.

All  Amen.

Common Worship: Daily Prayer is © Copyright Archbishops Council of the Church of England.  Used by permission.

This Lent we are focussing on St John’s Gospel.  It is a beautiful gospel with something for everyone – someone said it is “Deep enough for an elephant to swim and shallow enough for a child not to drown.”

Our Lent homegroups give the perfect opportunity to look at some of the great signs St John picks out to highlight who Jesus is and what he brings.  Anyone is welcome to join the groups – choose whichever time suits you better.  No prior experience or understanding is assumed, we’ll look at a passage together, aided by a simple study guide, and discuss our responses.

We have groups meeting in different homes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  We also have a group meeting in church on Wednesday mornings, 11:15am followed by a soup lunch and a group meeting at Altham Church at 10:45 on Sundays.

Full details of venues are on the Lent leaflet available at church.



Dear Lord,                                                                                                                                                                       Help me remember what a difference it makes                                                                                                         when I make time with You a priority in my morning.                                                                                               Awaken me in body and spirit each day with a desire to meet with You                                                               and to hear You speak words of affirmation, assurance, and wisdom                                                                        over my heart as I prepare to go into my day.


A massive thank you and well done to the organising team, craft workers, window decorators and helpers for a stunning festival. Thanks also to all those who supported the event, brought along friends, attended the concert or Carl Service; bought produce or raffle tickets. All helped in making the festival a success.

Below are a few photos to try and capture the essence of the festival.



Why not come and join in our next Scargill Weekend which will take place from Friday 16th until Sunday 18th October 2020?

Scargill is a Christian based community of people who live, work and pray together and the purpose of the weekend is to spend time together as a church family.

The cost for an adult is £140 (or £160 if you are in an en-suite room). Please request an en-suite room early  if this is important to you as they were in high demand last time. For children the cost is reduced by Scargill, and further subsidies by the church. So the weekend is FREE for the under 5s; JUST £21 for 5-7s; £35 for 8s – 11s and £49 for 12s – 16s, (plus a supplement for en-suite). If anyone would be genuinely unable to attend due to cost, please have a quiet word and we will seek to help.

We ask for a 10% deposit at the time of booking – and you can pay the remainder in instalments. Deposits are not refundable after June, and full payment must be received by min – September 2020.

Booking forms can be found in this moth’s news letter, copies of which are at the back of church.